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Satellite-based land monitoring solutions for environmental compliance assurance

Christian Hoffmann

(Submission #186)


The European Union (EU) has the world's highest environmental standards to protect resources like water, air, natural habitats and the species they support. Monitoring and reporting of the state of the environment is of utmost importance to protect, safeguard and improve the health and quality of the environment including clean water, breathable air and a healthy nature.

Such a monitoring of the environment, in order to support its protection and sustainable use, is the main reason of the EC Copernicus satellite programme. Copernicus satellites permanently monitor land, atmosphere and oceans and provide timely, accurate information on the state of our planet. Consequently, satellite-based solutions offer significant capacities to monitor, verify and enforce compliance with legal and administrative requirements.

To this end, GeoVille set-up, a unique solution for land monitoring in high spatial resolution and dense time intervals, designed along Space 4.0 standards and building upon the data streams from the Copernicus Sentinel satellites. The user can specify desired land monitoring data for any place on the globe for any given time period and receive a quality-controlled output within hours or days. Such a system can be used by public authorities, inspectors and law officers as well as farmers and land managers to collect information about levels of compliance and provide evidence for enforcement.

The presentation will demonstrate the capacity of such fully-automatic land monitoring solution for a specific use case in Austria where a validated Sentinel-2 based, homogenous land cover map was produced comprising information on agricultural activities, changes in ecosystem conditions and the management intensity of grassland areas. The solution is also employed in the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service for the pan-European production of high-resolution land cover layers on imperviousness, water, wetness and grassland. Moreover, it will support new information requirements in terms of plant phenology and agricultural dynamics, such as requested with next generation land monitoring services (e.g. CORINE Land Cover+). Regularly updated land cover data from Sentinel-2 constitutes an essential part of national land monitoring systems, such as the Austrian Land Information System (LISA). Such systems provide detailed data on land cover and use changes for a broad set of authoritative applications, such as spatial planning, forestry, water resource management and biodiversity conservation.

Based on the results, we will show how satellite-based information could support environmental law enforcement and compliance assurance. Violations of environmental law can be documented with EO in spatially explicit and quantitative means.


Topic Area:  [1.4] Compliance assurance¬† and environmental crime
Abstract Type:  Oral Presentation

Additional Fields

Academic:   No
Data Provider:   No
Data User:   Yes
INSPIRE Implementer (IT):   No
INSPIRE newbies:   No
Policy Officers:   Yes
Public Administration (MS/Regional/Local):   Yes
Thematic specialists:   Yes
Comments:   compliance assurance, environmental crime, law enforcement, land monitoring, Copernicus, Sentinel, Land Information System, Europe

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